Holding Up a Mirror: What to Expect at 2021 NACSA Virtual Leadership Conference for Charter School Authorizers

Holding Up a Mirror: What to Expect at 2021 NACSA Virtual Leadership Conference for Charter School Authorizers

Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages

As educators, we need to recognize the significance of this moment for charter school authorizers. The pandemic has interrupted schooling for millions of children–widening achievement and opportunity gaps that we have all dedicated our careers to closing. Meanwhile, systemic racism continues to be a pervasive barrier throughout all institutions–including schools–but there is finally momentum where big changes seem possible.

Let’s think more broadly and acknowledge the power we have as educators. How can we do better? Where do we begin? The theme of this year’s 2021 NACSA Virtual Leadership Conference is “Evolving Together: New Work for New Times,” and we are designing it to be an inclusive space where we can all have honest discussions about how to tackle these challenges head on.

Participants from past years can confirm the type of reflective conversations that happen at our annual conference. Here’s what we’ve heard:

There was a wonderful mix of high-level policy and on the ground experiences to keep the information useful.

I really like how the speakers I saw were not only willing to push thinking on social justice and equity but also were unapologetic in holding a mirror to their own work.

With all their success, the speakers weren’t shy about expressing their challenges as authorizers and school leaders. It was refreshing.

Last year challenged us in ways that we have not yet even begun to understand, but it also gave us a welcome opportunity to look in the mirror and reflect upon the ways that charter school authorizing can step further away from compliance and risk aversion, and step towards a broader lens.

Through this lens we can define school quality; a more explicit commitment to ensuring we create (and implement) more equitable processes that are by, for, and of communities; and a vision for change that centers kids and communities. This evolution will take hard work and time.

To be successful, we will have to come together to learn from one another, to try new things, and to push ourselves towards a more just future. We look forward to seeing you at this year’s conference in October.

Click here to go to the conference page and register.


Most Recent Posts
Closing the DEI Gap in Authorizing
According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, 68% of charter school students are students of color and nearly 59% come from lower-income households. Unfortunately, most educational organizations, including...
New School Application
What’s possible today? Who can start new, high-quality, innovative, and equitable schools? Is it possible for community members, talented educators, or the next generation of leaders to start a new...
Third Thursdays
NACSA provides professional development opportunities, online courses, resources, and publications that are specifically designed to help authorizers and other school leaders grow and network. Third Thursdays, an ongoing virtual learning...